Scott’s Market Minute 8/10/18

How’s the market these days? I’m comparing the real estate market to the Washington Nationals again in this week’s market minute message. Click play to learn more!

If you’d like to learn more or talk about your specific real estate situation, feel free to give me a call at 703-652-5777 or email me at scottmacdonald@remax.net

August Market Update

As Summer Winds Down…

Wow, did July fly by or what? It seems like it just started and it is over already. This month we saw inventory levels stay steady – which is typical for this time of year. The biggest difference is the amount of inventory available in the resale market. We are currently down 12% from this time last year. The good news for sellers is the pace of sales is comparable to last year’s sales – resulting in a 1.9 month supply of homes versus 2.1 last year. Unfortunately, while overall home prices are up, they are not flying off the market as quickly as they did earlier this year. Therefore, patience is required in some selling situations. The buyers in today’s market are taking their time making decisions as they are not feeling compelled to write an offer on the home the first time they view it. The market dynamics have shifted, and sellers need to be aware of this, so they remain patient and not anxious. If you are thinking of selling, let’s get together to discuss your plans in more detail.

Mortgage interest rates are about a half point higher than last year, so this may also be impacting a buyer’s decision-making process. In addition, some houses have higher price tags than what they are worth resulting in some buyer hesitation on making offers as they don’t want to offend the seller. It is a complex transaction and will, in many cases, be someone’s largest asset, so taking the time and analyzing the house, the market and various options available to them can be a good thing for many people. In any of these
situations, I’d be happy to assist in helping find the best location and home
for you when deciding to make a move.

end of summer

As high school sports are back in full swing with their practices starting and the vacation season behind us, let’s see if we don’t have a quick uptick in housing sales before September. As always, time will tell.  Enjoy the hot rainy weather and feel free to call us anytime.

 

Scott’s Market Minute 7/13/18

What do amusement parks and the real estate market have in common? Find out the answer and great up to date information on the local Northern Virginia real estate market in this weeks Market Minute message.

Would you like to talk about your specific situation? Give me a call at 703-652-5777 or email me at scottmacdonald@remax.net

Scott’s Market Minute 7/6/18

Much like my desk today, the real estate market is a mess! Learn more about the advantage of being a buyer in the Northern Virginia market right now in my latest Market Minute message.

Would you like to talk about your current situation – looking or buy or sell?  Give me a call at 703-652-5777 or email me at scottmacdonald@remax.net

July Market Update

Mid-Year Update18_300364_SummerSocialCovers_FB4

With half of the year over, the real estate market in Northern Virginia has slowed to a normal pace. This has put some sellers and Realtors in a bit of a panic as they felt the brisk market we experienced earlier this year was going to continue for a longer time than it did. It is important to understand that the frenetic pace of sales in February, March and into April was not sustainable nor the norm. We still are experiencing sales, but houses are not selling in hours or days for the most part, but are now selling in weeks, which is what is the expected time frame. Buyers are being more selective and taking their time making decisions which, again, is normal. Keep in mind, there is now more inventory and houses are staying on the market longer which means more choices and time for buyers to make decisions. If you are the seller, please know that this is okay. Your house will sell if it has a compelling price, is in great condition and a in nice location, it just won’t sell as fast as your neighbor’s house did earlier this year. Keep in mind, we are still seeing multiple offers on homes that meet the conditions above.

The real estate market can and does change on a dime. Important factors to pay attention to are: inventory levels in your price range, days on market – both average and median, and prices – if are they up or if are they are down. Every market is different and therefore deserves special attention which we can help you analyze. Experience matters so be sure to reach out to us if you are considering selling.

Interest rates on mortgages increased but have recently eased back down which is good news for buyers. We expect to be in this type of environment through the end of the year – somewhere between 4.5 and 5% for 30 -year fixed loans. These are awesome rates for sure, which is important for buyers to remember. The theory is higher rates will affect first time buyers in lower price points more than move up buyers or even first-time buyers in higher price points, so keep an eye out if you are considering a purchase. We are here to help you determine what loan program is best for you. We are full service!
Have a very Happy 4th of July celebrating with family and friends. Be safe!

June Market Update

Hello Summer!

summer remax

As we head into the long, hot days of summer, we are seeing that the Northern Virginia real estate market is in a “weird” place right now. It appears that some current buyers are creating unrealistic expectations while on the search for their new home – not every house is perfect, nor will it be. Each home has its flaws and sellers are not required to make houses “like new”. Home inspection list requests, multiple visits to the house with multiple inspectors (some licensed, some not) and extensive walk through items on or before the day of settlement are making selling a house even more difficult today than ever before. Unreasonable demands are being put on sellers and buyers in many cases are threatening not to close over last minute or minor issues that did not come up on the home inspection. Now, this isn’t happening in all cases, but it is in a lot of situations which is making the process more stressful than home selling normally is. It is my belief that buyers feel they are paying too much or are paying top dollar and because of shows they see HGTV, they feel the houses need to be nearly perfect. Hopefully, these demands will revert back to normal sooner rather than later. Time will tell.

So, what does this mean? It is more important today to have a professional Realtor, with years of experience on your side to guide you through the process, letting you know what is reasonable and expected and what is not. This is for both buyers and sellers. Please let me know if you or anyone you know may need my assistance.

As far as inventory goes, we are relatively flat week-over-week recently and sales remain strong. The issue remains the number of houses for sale are 18% below last year and 29% below 2 years ago and with sales remaining consistently high, we see prices increasing in some areas across the region. Now, not every market is strong, and not every house is seeing an escalation in value so please be sure to ask me what the right price is for your house if you are considering selling. Each area, house type, condition of the property and location dictate value today.

Stay dry and cool in these crazy summertime weather conditions.

 

Scott’s Market Minute 6/1/18

My weekly Market Minute live from Chantilly National Golf & Country Club. The rain has put a damper on the market … what do you think?

If you would like to talk more about your specific situation, please feel free to give me a call at 703-652-5777 or email me at scottmacdonald@remax.net

Scott’s Market Minute 5/25/18

It’s the last week of May and inventory levels have….. Check out Scott’s latest Market Minute message to find out what’s going on in Northern Virginia!

Give me a call if you would like to talk about your situation. I can be reached at 703-652-5777 or email me at scottmacdonald@remax.net  Have a great weekend!!!

April Market Update

As we enter what is considered to be the “Spring MHoliday Social Shareables-Springarket” in real estate, we are lacking one thing that makes sales “spring”… houses to sell and houses to buy.  We have plenty of buyers looking and many more expressing an interest in becoming home owners, but very few houses coming on the market quickly enough to keep up with this demand. Now that we enter April, let’s hope the tide turns so we can have happy new homeowners.

As of the end of March, our months of supply of homes in Northern Virginia is at only 1.1 months which is extremely low. A balanced real estate market is considered a 6-month supply of houses to sell. With these low inventory levels, the result is the increase in escalating prices. We have multiple contracts on many listings with no sales to support these prices when it comes time for appraisal. As such, we are starting to see low appraisals in some instances. The financial crisis has put pressure on appraisers to be very conservative even when you have buyers willing to pay above list price. It has always been my belief that the true market value of a home is what someone is willing to pay for a property and what someone is willing to sell for when it is an arm’s length transaction. Appraisers need to be given latitude to make this happen, not be restricted when we are in the market we are experiencing. I say this within all reason of course and don’t believe buyers should just offer any price to get a house and expect it to appraise. But with justifiable support, houses should appraise for what the market bears. Professional real estate agents should take the time to meet with the appraiser to show them all the supporting documentation and reasoning behind the value of the house. This way, all parties can move forward with the financing of the home without appraisal concerns. This is our job and what we do.  Please call me to discuss if you are considering selling.

If you are considering buying, we can help position your offer to negotiate on your behalf to get the home you want, it is not an impossible task. We have helped numerous clients achieve their dream of home ownership and we can help you as well. Please call me to learn more.

Let’s hope April showers bring us more houses to sell!

March Market Update

Holiday Social Shareables-StPatricksDay

The housing market in Northern Virginia continues to be on fire…in certain price points.  Virtually anything under $450,000 that is in good shape, priced right and is not a condo is selling within days, above asking price with multiple contracts.  Places in the $500,000 – $650,000 price point that have been updated and show well are also selling quickly.  We have a lull in the $650,000 – $900,000 price range depending upon location.  And lastly, properties priced $1,000,000 – $1,200,000 are seeing great activity as well and are even receiving multiple offers in some cases.

In today’s fast paced market, buyers need to be very responsive when they see a home that is of interest to them because, in all likelihood, someone else is also interested in it.  This dynamic is giving some buyers, a little “buyer’s remorse”.  When people feel forced to make quick decisions, they are taking advantage of the home inspection void rights or HOA document review period to get out of contracts at a later point in the transaction.  If you are a buyer, be sure you are committed to the house you are buying and if you are not, be patient and write on one that you are willing to follow through on.  These situations are creating a lot of stress on sellers and it is hurting the buyers who were willing to commit to the purchase and eventual ownership of that home.  Of course, if there is a legitimate reason to back out, by all means exercise your rights to void.  Don’t “jump” for fear of loss, “jump” because it meets all of your criteria.

We have finally entered the rising interest rate environment we have been predicting the last few years.  Despite this, as previously mentioned, houses are still selling which is good for our sellers.  The rise in rates has caused some people to get off the fence about buying which is adding to the number of potential buyers in the market.  Luckily, the interest rates for mortgages are still historically low so it remains a matter of perspective when people say rates are high.  Experienced buyers know we are fortunate to have rates in the 4’s and will still seek home ownership even in this type of environment.

As you know, everyone’s situation is different so please call me to discuss your plans in more detail so I can give you the right advice whether buying or selling.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!